If you’ve bought a figure based on A Nightmare on Elm Street, Alien, Predator, or any other of your other favorite horror movie hits in the last few years, the odds are very likely that it came from NECA Toys. The company has become the go-to master of nostalgic ‘80s/'90s franchise collectibles, and this year they brought a stunning display of new figures to their booth at Toy Fair New York this year.
Of course, it was no small feat securing the rights to every little bit of the Alien franchise — according to Director of Product Development Randy Falk, it took two years for the company to convince Sigourney Weaver to give them permission to use her likeness. For the next few months Alien Covenant toys will definitely dominate the figure landscape, but once that wave has passed, Falk told me that they’re eventually planning to release a figure of the Ripley clone from Alien: Resurrection, complete with her very own basketball. And in the meantime, they have some other awesome Alien toys to check out, like this Xenomorph from the Dark Horse Defiance comics.
Like any toy company, NECA face a lot of challenges securing licensing rights for their figures--for example, they can only sell movie versions of these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles characters in the larger quarter scale size, and only in North America (Figuarts has the brand locked up in Japan). But gosh, are they worth it. Just look at these beauties!
Similarly, these smaller Batman and Superman figures are only possible because they come bundled with opponents to battle — namely, these awesome Aliens and Predators (Xenomorphs and Yautja, for the sticklers).
Securing the rights to the Spider-Man: Homecoming costume was difficult, too, because it wasn’t tied up in the rest of their Marvel license, but no worries--they got it done (although they didn't have it ready for Toy Fair just yet!), and you’ll be able to get an 18" quarter-scale Tom Holland-inspired figure sometime soon.
Evil Dead is also a popular brand for the company, and this year they’re trying something fun and new: this awesome puppet from the second season of the Starz series Ash Vs. Evil Dead. “When the season finale [aired], I’d tweeted a picture of me with the puppet, and ever since then we’ve been getting, ‘When’s it coming out? Are you making it?',” Falk admitted. Well, all the cajoling worked, because here it is in the flesh! Err, felt.
Speaking of puppets, by far the coolest reveal from NECA this weekend was this set of Rocky caricature figures based on a Lipton Brisk Iced Tea commercial from 1999. Last year, Sly Stallone himself sold some of his old memorabilia from a storage locker, and NECA bought the puppets right from him. When they saw how much the puppets had deteriorated over the years, they figured it was worth restoring and recreating them into a collectible that fans everywhere could enjoy.
Check out the rest of NECA's Toy Fair offerings in the gallery below, and let us know which characters you're planning to purchase for yourself in the comments!
Images: Victoria McNally for Nerdist, NECA